Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Things I Like About Lawrence Park

In no particular order...

Short commute to work

Great place to walk dogs


Dairy Queen within walking distance

Library within walking distance

Four Mile Creek across the street from my house

Listening to the creek during still, quiet summer months

Neighbors who help me chase after a runaway dog

Variety of birds in the trees

Within walking distance of the Gardners

Gotta love a place that has a Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks

Wednesday evening concerts in the Gazebo during the summer

Taking the dogs to Iroquois High School football games (where Grace performs her community service by eating the chewing gum off the parking lots and sidewalks)

Listening to the High School Band practice

The sight, sound and smell of fall leaves

The sweet smell of everyone's lilac bushes in bloom in early June

Neighbors who snowplow my sidewalk while I sleep in

There are plenty more reasons, but these are the ones that came to mind while I was walking the dogs this evening.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Let the Truth Be Told

My father had open-heart surgery on Monday, August 21. When I saw him in the Surgical ICU, he was still on a ventilator so he was unable to communicate verbally. My siblings and I would ask him a series of yes/no questions until we hit upon the right one - "Are you in pain?", "Do you need suctioned?" and so forth.

At one time, when I was alone with him (and unfortunately, had no witnesses), he tried to tell me something. I went through the series of questions...Pain? (he shook his head no), Suction (he shook his head no), Oral Swab (he shook his head no), An Itch (he shook his head no), Am I your favorite child? - HE NODDED YES! I always knew it!

Lest you think this was a hallucination of a heavily anesthetized man, I remind you that they don't call it "truth serum" for nothing.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Artificial Intelligence

I've been amazed (and a bit frightened) at how perceptive Spell Check can be. Often, when I have spell check peruse a document, it suggests some amazingly accurate choices for what it sees as my misspellings. Some recent examples: Adiel = addle (she is the mother of two toddlers)

Adiel = waddle (pregnant, it won't be long before she does waddle)

Brenda's = brandish (No shrinking violet, she! Fortunately, what she often 'brandishes' is loving exhoration)

Barblings = purpling (anyone that's had children crawl all over them as if they were a giant toy will understand the purple bruising that occurs)

Dora = Dork (enough said)

Leon = lean (good for a Pastor)

Livie (Barbling #3) = live (she’s definitely a live wire)

Malachi=water thrower(I just made that one up. What really was suggested was malice. As the recipient of his water bombs on THREE occasions, I wonder if some malice wasn't involved).

Atticus= attaches (he attaches his paws to the chest of the first one through the door)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Savvy Quote

"I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage with my books, my family, and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post, which any human power can give."

-Thomas Jefferson, letter of February 1788

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Out of the Mouth of Barblings

At church last Sunday, Barbling #2 whispered to me, "You got new shoes. I could tell because I sniffed them."

They were on my feet at the time.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

One Good Thing, Two Days Early

After a busy nine hour day at work, I went grocery shopping. I needed a few things for myself and also one of the greatest necessities of my household, dog food. After navigating the crowded grocery store checkout lines, I entered my home, hands filled with grocery bags, and maneuvered around anxious dogs who smelled the lunch meat in the bags. After putting the lunch meat in the protective custody of the refrigerator, I opened the back door to let the dogs out in the yard. It was then I noticed I'd only counted two dogs walk past me and (for this week only) I have three. Atticus Otulakowski was missing.

At first, I thought he'd gotten to the yard unnoticed, but after a few brief yells "Aaatttiiicccuuusss" and some brief glances about the yard, I determined he was not there and went searching throughout the house. I remembered I'd been in the basement this morning and Atticus had followed me. I quickly ran to the basement door fearful he'd been shut in all day and possibly gotten himself in to some dangerous basement-type things. I flung open the door calling "Aaatttiiicccuuusss" but there was no dog to greet me.

I ran downstairs worried I might see his dead body, poisoned by some unknown cleaning agent. No Atticus.

I ran up the basement steps yelling "Aaatttiiicccuuusss" but there was no answer.

I ran up the steps to the second floor yelling "Aaatttiiicccuuusss", expecting to find him collapsed on my bedroom floor from heat exhaustion, when I heard my next door neighbor call in the front screen door, "Barb, are you missing a dog". There was Atticus, running towards Napier Park and Four Mile Creek. And I ran after him.

Thanks to I can tell you that at 6:30 pm it was 91 degrees in Erie, PA with relative humidity at 52%. Therefore, it felt like it was 98 degrees (what a wonderful name for a deodorant). However, meteorologists fail to factor in to their calculations the effect of panty hose on the temperature. After today's experience ( I was still in my work clothes), I feel confident stockings add an additional 10 degrees to their formula.

As I hit that wall of heat, I was amazed at how quickly I'd gone from being fearful of finding his dying body to wanting to find his dying body and wring the last bits of smelly dog breath from him!

Two of my neighbors, whose individual ages are almost equal to the temperature in degrees (Fahrenheit, not Celsius) braved the Hades-like heat to help me find him. We all ran, then walked, the creeped up and down Napier Avenue (and parts of Iroquois Ave) calling "Aaatttiiicccuuusss". One gentleman even gave me a handful of canned dog food to try to attract the dog.

For forty five minutes I roamed Lawrence Park with a handful of mystery meat, my pores absorbing the odor. After awhile, my sweat started to smell like Alpo. At about the time I was ready to go back and get in my air conditioned car and search further, "Aaatttiiicccuuusss" came right up to me, exhausted, panting and slobbering (on me) heavily. I tried to feed him the Perspiration-Poached Alpo, but he spit it out on the street.

One Good Thing - Atticus goes home on Friday.